Designers of Development Options

BTI PROJECTS

Completed Projects

The International Assistance Evaluation Division of Global Affairs Canada contracted BTI to facilitate a data collection mission for their evaluation of International Assistance Programming in the Philippines. The evaluation addresses questions related to the relevance, results and sustainability of Canadian programming in the Philippines. Two teams undertook the data collection field mission that focused on project sites in Western and Eastern Visayas, and gathered the following information:

– the relevance of international assistance projects to community needs;

– the extent to which project results and activities have been impacted by subsequent natural disasters

– the types of results that have been achieved through the project, including those related to gender equality

– the sustainability of project results, especially in the context of recurring natural hazards;

– local perceptions of resilience in the context of post-disaster reconstruction.

Typhoon Yolanda Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction Monitor is a 4-year project that reviewed and monitored the implementation of Humanitarian phase of Canadian assistance that covered 11 NGOs, and the implementation of Reconstruction phase covering 4 projects implemented by 4 NGOs in Region 6 and 8. Tasks include the assessment of work programs and accomplishment reports of NGOs, conduct of field missions (2-3 times a year), analysis of results, and coordination with GAC and NGOs.

This study was commissioned to determine if the Private Sector Representatives (PSR) have been effective in representing the voice of the public in the Regional Development Councils (RDC). The RDC has been the country’s mechanism for regional development planning, policy formulation, investment programming/budgeting, and program and project monitoring and evaluation.

It seeks to determine how to measure the effectiveness of PSRs, recommend ways to increase their effectiveness, and develop a diagnostic tool to continuously assess the effectiveness of PSRs.  This was conducted in Regions 1, 3, and MIMAROPA.

Among others, the study involved the following activities:

  1. Development of a diagnostic tool to assess the quality of PSR participation in the RDC;
  2. Conduct of surveys, interviews, focus group discussions, meetings as needed;
  3. Assessment of the engagement of PSRs in RDCs of Central Luzon, Ilocos and  MIMAROPA regions using the diagnostic tool developed; and
  4. Identification of  areas for improvement and recommendation of policies/programs/activities to enhance the implementation and management of PSR participation in the RDC.

The key output of the project is the construction of a regional Computable General Equilibrium Model for Mindanao (CGEMM) and the rest of the Philippines, incorporating agglomeration economies, to support the Mindanao Spatial Strategy Development Framework. Such a model will be the first of its kind developed for the Philippines.

The CGEMM was calibrated to 2016 base data for Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines compiled as a social accounting matrix, from both official sources, and primary data collected by a survey of enterprises in Mindanao. After consulting with regional stakeholders, the CGEMM was used to evaluate baseline and alternative scenarios for growth, per capita GRDP, sectoral output, and regional agglomeration. The findings of the study described the output projections and agglomeration measures of Mindanao Regions in 2016 and in 2030.

Staff from NEDA Regional Offices and RPDO-ARMM were also trained in using and updating the model.  CGEMM is a first step in model building at the sub-national level in Mindanao and the Philippines as whole. Future development of the CGEMM, together with statistical systems feeding it with updated information, will make it an even more useful decision support for MSSDF and other regional and national development planning exercises.

The project’s key outputs are the construction of six macroeconometric models for each of the regions of Mindanao or REM-Mindanao, and capacity-building exercises.

Briefly, REM-Mindanao is a model capable of generating macroeconomic outcomes for regional production, expenditures, prices and employment. It is useful for planning and target setting in the short to medium term. The first of its kind in the Philippines, the equations of each regional model were based on macroeconomic theory and existing macroeconometric models in the Philippines and beyond. Using data specific to the regions of Mindanao, the coefficients and specific forms of the equations were specified using econometric techniques. After consulting with regional stakeholders, the model was put to use in the construction of baseline and alternative scenarios for each region through the year 2023. Staff from the NEDA Regional Offices and RPDO-ARMM were also trained in using and updating the model.

As REM-Mindanao is just a first step in model building at the sub-national level in Mindanao and the Philippines as whole, it is expected that future iterations of the model will update and revise the model to make it more powerful tool for planning and policy analysis at the regional level. It is hoped that the data limitations that constrained the modeling process will serve as a guide in identifying regional information that statistical agencies need to collect in the future.

The Calabarzon region (Region IV-A) ranks eighth among all 18 regions in absolute number of poor and pockets of high poverty incidence persist in the region, with 34 municipalities having poverty incidence higher than the national average, based on the 2012 Small Area Estimates (SAE) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The region also has a disproportionate share of overseas Filipino workers, suggesting that in spite of seemingly high employment opportunities due to industrialization, lack of jobs and livelihoods are pushing residents in large numbers to seek employment overseas.

The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Calabarzon has sought to address the problem by defining and pursuing convergence areas for poverty alleviation programs and projects and accompanying action plans. NEDA-Calabarzon, as Secretariat to the RDC, commissioned Brain Trust Inc. to undertake this study in order to better guide strategic interventions, and focus resources to areas for convergence for maximum impact and effectiveness. Specifically, BTI achieved the following:

1. Identified the significant factors that caused persistent poverty in Calabarzon;
2. Defined the constraints that prevented or hampered poverty reduction initiatives;
3. Assessed the relationship between past and present anti-poverty programs implemented in the region, and observed poverty incidence;
4. Recommended appropriate strategies to address the root causes of poverty; and
5. Suggested strategies to sustain the benefits or gains from anti-poverty efforts.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has commissioned an independent Strategic Review around SDG#2: to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. This Review will complement the development of the new national plans and contribute to a comprehensive and integrated approach towards addressing food insecurity and malnutrition in the country. The Strategic Review is an independent, analytical and consultative exercise with an overall objective of determining what the Philippines must do to achieve SDG #2 and its accompanying targets by 2030.

The specific objectives of the Strategic Review are:
1. Establish a joint, comprehensive analysis of the context related to food security and nutrition within the targets of SDG #2;
2. Determine the progress that strategies, policies, and programmes aimed at improving food security and nutrition have made for women, men, girls and boys and identify key humanitarian and development challenges and gaps in the response, the available resources and the institutional capacity;
3. Provide an overview of the resourcing situation of the food security and nutrition sector;
4. Discuss the role of the private sector in achieving food security and improved nutrition;
5. Explore how South-South and triangular cooperation could contribute to achieving zero hunger in the Philippines, and could be used by the Philippines to help other countries make progress towards this goal;
6. Identify the food security and nutrition goals or targets established in national plans or agreed in regional frameworks to facilitate progress toward zero hunger;
7. Propose and prioritize actions for the government and its partners, including WFP, required to meet response gaps and accelerate progress toward zero hunger, and provide an overview of how these actions may be implemented and funded.

The findings and recommendations of the Review will contribute to national development planning, formulation and implementation of United Nations system-wide plans in the country, the engagement of other partners including international financial institutions, and the delineation of WFP’s role and portfolio of assistance in support of the Philippines’ humanitarian and development agenda.

This study was commissioned to determine if the Private Sector Representatives (PSR) have been effective in representing the voice of the public in the Regional Development Councils (RDC). The RDC has been the country’s mechanism for regional development planning, policy formulation, investment programming/budgeting, and program and project monitoring and evaluation.

It seeks to determine how to measure the effectiveness of PSRs, recommend ways to increase their effectiveness, and develop a diagnostic tool to continuously assess the effectiveness of PSRs.  This was conducted in Regions 1, 3, and MIMAROPA.

Among others, the study involved the following activities:

  1. Development of a diagnostic tool to assess the quality of PSR participation in the RDC;
  2. Conduct of surveys, interviews, focus group discussions, meetings as needed;
  3. Assessment of the engagement of PSRs in RDCs of Central Luzon, Ilocos and  MIMAROPA regions using the diagnostic tool developed; and
  4. Identification of  areas for improvement and recommendation of policies/programs/activities to enhance the implementation and management of PSR participation in the RDC.

BTI reviewed and profiled a total of about 22 cities. It generated and analyzed data and statistics; assessed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in key development areas (e.g. economy, environment and governance); analyzed good practices in specific governance aspects (e.g. planning, business permitting and land registration processes); and provided views and insights on matters that are deemed relevant to the development of the cities

The project is part of EFAP’s continuing effort to help promote peace and alleviate poverty in Muslim Mindanao. It involved heightening investor awareness and confidence to do business in Muslim Mindanao by providing a venue for matching and connecting external investors with local enterprises and owners/caretakers of land resources that may be needed by the former.

The project enabled DBM officials to appreciate the tasks of each DBM unit and understand the substantive linkages and interdependence of their respective units with those of others. This helped improve internal coordination and working systems.

The project aimed to increase the alignment between the skills needs of industry and the production of graduates by higher education institutions (HEI), and initiate the linkages between these two sectors in Batangas, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro cities. BTI worked with PBEd and handled the technical research component of the project, which included identifying key and emerging industries and estimating their skills requirements in the medium to long-term; analyzing capability of HEIs to respond to anticipated skills requirements of industries; determining critical factors contributing to skills gap or mismatch; and identifying best practices and lessons learned on existing industry-academe partnerships in the country. It also identified research requirements of industries and research capabilities of HEIs and developed a template that could facilitate and guide the formulation of an industry-academe joint research plan. In order to do this, BTI conducted surveys, interviews, focus group discussions and scenario building exercises for representatives of HEIs, industries, government agencies, parents and students in each of the three cities.

The project helped TVIRD attain the ideals of responsible mining and guarantee a long-term and sustainable development for its mining community and surrounding areas of Zamboanga del Norte. It assessed the effectiveness of TVIRD’s Social Development Management Program and formulated a long-term Sustainable Development Framework Plan for its influence area, which covers 27 barangays in three municipalities. The Framework Plan was meant to serve as a guide to achieving sustainable growth and development in the community after the closure of TVIRD’s mining operations. Project activities included the conduct of a Rapid Rural Appraisal, social mapping, analysis of value chain and market linkages, among others. It employed a participatory process among stakeholders that mainly consist of indigenous people.

The project involves the assessment of business risks and vulnerabilities of 16 rapidly urbanizing cities (i.e. 4 cities per phase) to climate change impacts in order to help city local chief executives, planners and decision makers, business people, and other stakeholders assess climate change impacts, identify threats and opportunities as inputs to the development of their sustainability strategies, site-specific interventions, and standards of practices that will allow the cities to retain their economic viability and respond more competitively in a climate-defined future. BTI conducted the scenario building exercises, one of two components of the assessment approach (the other is the 3-vector analysis).  The exercise provided each city a realm of possibilities of their likely futures, which could guide their planning, policy-making and investment programming. The cities covered were  Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Iloilo for Phase 1; Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, and Laoag for Phase 2; Angeles, Batangas, Naga, and Tacloban for Phase 3 and Butuan, General Santos, Palawan and Santiago for Phase 4.

The project explored the potential for development of fairly large agribusiness ventures in conflict-affected areas as a way of generating employment and stable income for their residents. It covered the whole of Mindanao but focused on the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. It had two major activities: the conduct of research studies and the holding of economic summits. The first activity produced five research papers: (1) Energy and Power Situation in Mindanao: Policy Environment and Impact; (2) Financing Peace and Development in Mindanao; (3) Priming the ARMM through Agribusiness Development; (4) Land Tenure and Agribusiness Investment in Muslim Mindanao; and (5) Transportation and Logistics Facilities in Mindanao: Issues, Challenges and Imperatives. Two economic summits were organized, one in Cotabato City and the other one in Cagayan de Oro City. The summits of stakeholder leaders extensively discussed issues identified by the studies and built consensus on ways to move forward on these issues.

The main objective of the project was to formulate a Peace and Development Strategic Framework Plan for the whole island of Mindanao for the period 2010-2030 (Mindanao 2020). BTI facilitated the process in a highly participative manner and guided the development of the substantive content. In the process, BTI attained the project’s secondary objective, which was to strengthen the capacity of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in strategic planning. It guided the Board and secretariat in developing the vision and strategic direction for MinDA and conducted hands on training in investment programming, indicators development, monitoring and evaluation, research agenda development, and designing and undertaking participatory planning exercises. It also designed a Communication for Development (C4D) program for Mindanao 2020; developed an accompanying Research Agenda; and produced a Legislative Agenda, Investment Program, and M&E template and guidelines. It also wrote a monograph on Mindanao Environment.

The study estimated the economically viable land size for agricultural production that would permit the efficient use of labour and capital resources and would optimize farm production and income under varying bio-climatic and technological conditions and by type of crop and land category. It further identified the target levels of income for a farm family to meet the basic needs, and reasonable reserves to absorb yearly fluctuations and other land expenses.

This project developed a regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model that overcomes serveral limitations of conventional CGE models of the Philippines. Model development supported the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) with training and technical assistance to undertake a quantitative assessment of impacts of various policy reforms. The applications of the model showed the following: (1) completion of the tariff reform program in agriculture will contract some import-competing sectors in lagging regions, but will improve welfare across all regions; (2) productivity growth in agriculture can more than offset these contractionary effects; (3) investments in marketing infrastructure promise significant pay-offs, though with a trade-off between the size and spread of welfare gains across regions; and (4) combining trade reform with marketing infrastructure investments slightly mitigates some of the contractionary effects from the former.

The project assessed rural poverty reduction programs of the World Bank and Philippine Government over a 20-year period including approaches and impacts across three key community-driven development objectives of empowering communities, improving access to services and public goods, and improving livelihoods. The lessons from this assessment and study of poorest muncipalities and barangays in the country were used to develop an overarching operational framework for rural poverty reduction in the Philippines. Budgeting, budget management and over-all public financing figured prominently in the research study. Outputs included (a) results of review of poverty reduction programs; (b) suggested operational framework for poverty reduction that includes recommendations on adjusting ongoing or designing new programs or projects; and (c) a framework for results monitoring and evaluation.

BTI developed an evaluation framework and drew up recommendations towards improving the functionality of Knowledge Centre and monitoring & evaluation systems being maintained and operated by Local Government Units in the 9 provinces and 3 cities covered by CPC6.

The Technical Assistance translated DBM’s Corporate Plan into operational plans. It caused the development of Business Plans of 20 Bureaus/Work Units and 16 Regional offices; reshaped the business fundamentals of DBM; and built planning capacity within DBM.

Specifically, BTI conducted training workshops in planning and in understanding and integrating budget reforms in business plans; write shops and team building sessions in 36 offices in the regions and Manila.  BTI also facilitated discussions on workflows and how various units may
simplify and facilitate processes and improve services.  Templates were provided on planning and M&E, and best practices in budget agencies in other countries as references.

The project enabled DBM officials to appreciate the tasks of each DBM unit and understand the substantive linkages and interdependence of their respective units with those of others. This helped improve internal coordination and working systems.

This study purposes to construct a regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the Philippines. The CGE model will be applied to experiments on economywide fiscal policies such as tariff reform, as well as regional policies related to public investments. Implications of the analysis for the country’s regional and national development strategies will also be discussed. Important issues relevant to the economic development strategy can be addressed such as: prioritization of public investment under fiscal constraints, the need to address development disparities across regions, and complementarity between market-level policies and ground-level investments.

The model formulated was static, constant returns, competitive, and market-clearing. The sub-national economies were categorized according to the super-regions as defined in official policy, namely:

Northern Luzon (Ilocos, CAR, Cagayan Valley)
Metro Luzon (Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and NCR)
Central Philippines (Bicol region, and all the Visayas regions)
Mindanao (all the Mindanao Regions).
Partner: PEP Network

This aimed at producing the very first corporate plan of the Department of Budget and Management. Among others, it scanned the environment within which DBM operated, conducted a client satisfaction survey and conducted a series of discussions and planning workshops with DBM officials and staff. It used the results to assist DBM plot its future direction and strategies for the next 10 years

Ongoing Projects and Initiative

Funder:  National Economic Development Authority

Project Period: January to August 2020

The project aims to assess the potential impacts of liberalizing the domestic sugar industry, which includes the removal of SRA’s regulatory power to implement a quedan system, among others, to the agriculture sector, the economy as a whole and welfare of various stakeholders. It will provide policy recommendations on improving the productivity and competitiveness of the sugar industry and, identify the needed reforms and concrete measures to be implemented.  

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Project Period:  2019-2023

This will monitor the SHE Philippines Project of Canada in six regions using a monitoring framework that provides particular attention to progress made in achieving the results related to established outcomes, outputs, performance indicators, targets and risks.  It involves field missions and review of project work plans, reports and other materials.

This involves the development of regional CGE model to identify areas where future technical assistance can be targeted to assist in Philippine agricultural and economic development.

The project involves the development of an agri coop development agenda that creates an enabling environment for the development of agri coop sector. Among others, the agenda shall consist of improvement in government policies and strengthening of private sector engagement to enhance the sector’s organizational and business performance.

A BTI initiative to link, coordinate, complement and synergize the efforts and initiatives undertaken by different groups to avert the climate crisis, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in ten  years.